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Charity calls for exemption from new travel rules for assistance dogs
The new rules mean that guide dog puppies would not be able to be sent to NI until they are at lease 15 weeks old.

Group suspends supply of guide dog puppies to NI

The charity Guide Dogs has expressed disappointment regarding the post-Brexit travel rules and the barriers they present for assistance dogs travelling from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

The formal agreement of the new Irish Sea border means that the new pet travel rules for travel to the EU also apply to Northern Ireland. Under these rules, pets entering Northern Ireland from Great Britain have to have certain paperwork and must be vaccinated against rabies 21 days before travel.

Typically guide dog puppies are sent for early training at eight weeks old, staying with their carer until they can begin their specialised training in a Guide Dogs' centre at 12-16 months old.

But, as they cannot be vaccinated for rabies until 12 weeks old, the earliest a guide dog puppy could enter NI from Britain is 15 weeks.

Speaking to the BBC, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs said that this delay will cause the puppies to miss out on essential training at a time key time in their socialisation and development. In addition, the charity added that it would not be best for the puppy's welfare to travel during this period.

Although trained adult assistance dogs will still be supplied to Northern Ireland, the issues that the new rules impose on training and socialisation have led Guide Dogs to suspend the placement of puppies in Northern Ireland.

The charity trains more than 1,000 guide dog puppies each year that go on to support and improve the lives of some 200,000 people with sight loss living in the UK.

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New series shares recipes for pet-safe festive treats

News Story 1
 Battersea has launched a new Christmas baking series across all it's social media channels, to teach owners how to make pet-safe treats for dogs and cats.

The two-part series will show dog owners how to make Christmas dog treats using xylitol-free peanut butter and banana. Meanwhile, cat owners will be taught how to use rolled oats and turkey to make a festive snack for their pet.

Battersea also reminds pet owners of the importance of insuring that animals maintain a healthy balanced diet and adds that these food items should only be given as a treat.

To view the series, please visit Battersea's YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

Image (c) Battersea. 

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News Shorts
APHA confirms eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza in England

The Animal & Plant Health Agency (APHA) has identified an eighth case of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N8 in poultry in England.

Confirmed on Tuesday (15 December), the outbreak was found in captive birds and poultry at a premises near Willington, South Derbyshire. A 3km Protection Zone and a 10km Surveillance Zone have been placed around the infected premises to limit the risk of the disease spreading.

Further information about the outbreaks and the latest government advice can be found at